July 23rd, 2008
09:00 AM ET
12 years ago

Poll: Blacks, whites don't see eye-to-eye on race relations

(CNN) - A new national poll suggests that black and white Americans don’t see eye-to eye-on race relations and racial discrimination.

In a CNN/Essence Magazine/Opinion Research Corporation poll released Tuesday morning, 43 percent of African-Americans questioned say that racial discrimination against blacks is a very serious problem, with only 11 percent of whites agreeing. On the flip side, 42 percent of whites surveyed say that racial discrimination against blacks is not a serious problem, with only 12 percent of blacks agreeing.

More than half of blacks questioned say they’ve been the victim of racial discrimination. But only 32 percent of white respondents said they’ve been a victim of discrimination because of their race, a difference of 24 points.

There’s also a difference of opinion when it comes to the future. Fifty-one percent of blacks polled say that race relations will always be a problem in the U.S. Only 41 percent of white respondents agreed.
When it comes to their children, a slight majority, 55 percent, of black respondents with kids under the age of 18 say they feel financially secure to provide for their children. That number rises to 72 percent for whites questioned in the survey.

The survey was conducted from March 26 to April 2, with 2,184 adult Americans, equally split between black and white respondents, questioned by telephone.

The survey has a sampling error of plus or minus two percentage points.

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Filed under: Polls
soundoff (185 Responses)
  1. CMB

    Wow, CNN – you just figuring this out?

    July 23, 2008 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  2. Uncle Sam

    This is a stupid story. No two cultures see eye to eye on race relations. Wow!!! What a revelation!!!

    July 23, 2008 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  3. ARB

    There's a huge surprise.....who would have guessed that?

    July 23, 2008 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  4. Erika, KS

    Well, no kidding. Blacks and whites have different history.
    Is this a newsflash for you? Duh!

    July 23, 2008 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  5. Philly Abe

    When asked if they were racists, 76 % of Americans said "I'm not racist, I have black friends!"

    July 23, 2008 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  6. Abby

    Yes, we still have some ways to go in this country regarding race as evidenced, among other placed, in this blog. I don think that’s really news, is it? As a country, we are working overtime to get past it and I really think we are headed the in the right direction.

    July 23, 2008 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  7. proud army and navy mom

    is this surprising? I could have told you that, cnn, and you wouldn't have had to waste your time on polling. try digging a little deeper next time to figure out the reason behind these views.

    July 23, 2008 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  8. Jamaal Kansas

    Of Course a white person would not identify with me being discrimnated against this Country is getting better in race relations every generation the thing is it is still Old racist White People out the {Mcbush} that don't want to accept black people as equal but every dog has it day. Obama 08

    July 23, 2008 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  9. DANIELLE

    ITS A PROBLEM BECAUSE MOST BLACKS LIKE TO USE THE RACE CARD. WITHOUT IT, THEY FEEL POWERLESS.

    THE OBAMAS ARE PRIME EXAMPLE-

    VOTE SMART-VOTE MCCAIN!

    July 23, 2008 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  10. NewYorker Magazine Rocks

    Hey Obama folks – After the Obama coronation in November, we can finally stop all these affirmative action programs which have divided Americans for decades. Finally no more victimization b/s

    You wanted change, you got it

    Stop affirmative actions programs.

    July 23, 2008 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  11. krosie70

    Come to the south – it's still a problem. We are only 1 1/2 generations removed from separate water fountains. It's going to take awhile for the newer generations to stop learning hatred from the older ones. With that said, I think the outcome of this poll could be determined on age and location of the person, as well as skin color.

    July 23, 2008 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  12. atypical

    I don't much care for articles that claim "Blacks this, whites this. . . " It presumes that alllllllllllllllllllll blacks think a particular way and alllllllllllllllllllll whites think a particular way.

    Unfortunately, racism abounds on both sides of this fence.

    I suppose we could sit and argue about who are the worst offenders but our time would probably be better spent taking the high road, make connections with someone outside our ethnic group. Don't just adopt a particular attitude because your friends and family think and feel a certain way.

    The question allllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll of us can ask ourselves is do I perpetuate racism: am I part of the problem or a part of the solution?

    July 23, 2008 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  13. rdw

    Really? Now that's breaking news!

    July 23, 2008 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  14. DANIELLE

    OBVIOUSLY BLACKS FELL THAT WAY-

    WHEN DO I GET MY WHITE MONTH?
    WHEN DO I GET TO USE MY COLOR OF SKIN TO JUSTIFY WHY I BEHAVE THE WAY I DO?

    THE OBAMA'S DO THIS EVERYDAY -YOU PEOPLE MAKE ME SICK WHO ARE VOTING FOR OBAMA-

    SICK SICK SICK

    July 23, 2008 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  15. Mel

    THIS STORY IS STUPID .CNN TRY SOMETHING DIFFERENT..IF YOU ARE WHITE YOU SEE IT ONE WAY IF YOU ARE BLACK YOU SEE IT ANOTHER . AND EITHER SIDE DOESN'T CARE WHAT THE OTHER THINKS. DONT BOTHER TO ASK FOOLISH QUESTIONS........

    July 23, 2008 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  16. THE O

    Hey CNN ask this poll question.

    ( HOW MANY POEPLE THINK CNN IS COMING UP WITH THESE POLL QUESTION AS TO BRING UP RATINGS ) ?????

    CNN you guys need to report the news and not try and make it up as you go along!!!!!!!!!

    July 23, 2008 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  17. Phil, FL

    I believe as the country progresses and the newer generation comes of age, a lot of this will stop. It has to.

    We all live here, we're all in the same messes with money, gas, etc.

    We cannot afford to be a nation divided by prejudice any longer.

    Go Obama '08

    July 23, 2008 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  18. Xavier, Saint Louis, MO

    Good old American . . . it never falls. We just can't seem to get past the race factor in this country. We are a great nation haunted by the sins of discrimination and racial division. We can become even greater if we make racism extinct. . . . .maybe in another 50 years we can look past this ongoing sinful behavior we acquired 400 years ago.

    July 23, 2008 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  19. TJ Johnson

    Whites owe nothing to Blacks or any other race. We are all born to do our best in the USA and are each one responsible for ourselves. There are sufficient laws supporting this premise and no excuse for anyone whatever "color" not to excel if they want to.

    July 23, 2008 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  20. Texas trail puppy!

    United we stand divided we fall. The problem of race will not be solved overnight because of a Minority being nominated as a major party presidential candidate however thanks to the dialogue that has already been activated nationwide the opportunity for all races (White, black, brown, red etc) to find coming ground and move forward as one nation is very encouraging...
    America 2008.

    July 23, 2008 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  21. ProudToBeDemocrat

    White people are in their comfort zone, they do not want to admit black people in America are treated badly, they do not have any idea what it means to black in America. This nation is the racist ration in the World, white people in American live in a box, the do not have the intellegence and will to see this world beyond race. It is sad but true in order to see change in america all the old generation need to go (die). I have faith on the new generation to change America.

    July 23, 2008 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  22. AJ

    Is this supposed to be surprising? I'm not surprised. But I'm Black, so I guess it just turned out as I expected. White people usually think race relations are better than their Black counterparts do.

    Who's correct? Depends on who you ask.

    July 23, 2008 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  23. Brandon

    Racism will always be a problem in this country until we stop referring to each other as white, black, african-american, chinese-american, etc. Can't we just be American?

    July 23, 2008 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  24. Can I get my comments posted this time?

    Why are whites surprised that blacks have a vastly different view of the US than they do?

    If Obama is elected president, which I don't believe he will, nothing will change for black folks. Because he's running for president, doesn't mean things have changed for all black folks. Bush is a wealthy white man. His presidency didn't help poor whites or improve their lives. So I won't place the burden of all African-Americans of Obama's shoulders.

    Yes people. I'm a black female. I'm voting for Obama.

    July 23, 2008 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  25. The Iraq war IS legal

    There has always been discrimination against somebody in one form or another, and this will not change. It's human nature, sadly, so I can't see the problem ever going away. You can't legislate it away either. Blacks have more opportunities than ever, and we live in a world bombarded with images of black athletes, hip hop stars, etc. The cry of "discrimination" and racism" at every turn are old and tiresome to whites, and only get perpetuated by the likes of Jackson and Sharpton. Are there some racist people and incidents? Absolutely, but quit using it as a crutch for all the problems blacks continue to bring on against themselves.

    July 23, 2008 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
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